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"are likely to make some noise in the world," says he, in another place, "and, if I conjecture right, "will be no less read than the Pilgrim's Progress "itself, I find it necessary to consult every one a "little in his turn." The idea of going down to posterity in company with Bunyan is one of the most characteristic in his works, and is to be matched for quiet irony only by himself in that passage in the Preface to his Sermons where he acquaints the reader that "the sermon which gave rise to the publication of these, having been offered to the public as one of Yorick's, he hopes the most serious "reader will find nothing to offend him in his contin"uing these volumes under the same title. Lest it "should be otherwise," he proceeds, "I have added a second title-page with the real name of the "author. The first will serve the bookseller's pur





pose as Yorick's name is possibly of the two "the more known-and the second will ease the "minds of those who see a jest and the danger "which lurks under it, where no jest was meant."

A Dr. Ferriar has written a book to show up Sterne. He has proved by addition and subtraction that Yorick's wit was borrowed from his predecessors, and his learning filched from sources long since forgotten. I have not read the doctor's book, but there doubtless is much truth in what he says. Few men

are born with an intuitive knowledge of the ancients and their works. One must get all one knows from somewhere, and a quotation is equally effective when taken from Burton as from Horace. A thorough examination will triumphantly show, that, although his treasury may contain some base foreign coin, all the genuine pieces are from his own mint, and unmistakably bear the image and superscription of him by whom they were issued. But his great success is due less to wit and learning than to his power of exciting the reader's sympathy. This may in some measure be seen in the Sermons, which are among the best in our language; but more especially is it to be seen in the "Sentimental Journey," where he had full scope for the exercise of his peculiar powers. His was the loving eye that could see where all was darkness to others. The learned Smelfungus pronounced everything barren from Dan to Beersheba,

for every object he passed was discoloured or dis"torted." He, on the contrary, interesting his heart in everything, would have found in a desert some object to call forth his affections. The compass of his observation was wide, and he had a penetration with which he is not usually credited. The French, who have made this work their own, and several editions have appeared among them, say he is the only Englishman who has ever understood them. It will



be found, moreover, that this sympathy has a different source from what is produced by the exhibition of suffering on the stage, or in the works of most other humourists. There the spectator, or reader, is moved because he is made to contemplate himself in the situation represented. When, for instance, Don Quixote suffers indignities, when his bones are broken and his teeth knocked down his throat, our sympathies are excited in a greater degree, perhaps, than for any other hero of fiction. We feel the strokes of his assailant; every blow that falls upon him falls also upon us, and we are kept in a constant state of apprehension for the safety of the unfortunate knight. But why are we indignant at the treatment he receives? Is it not because our experience being superior to his we are able to anticipate the desperate issues that will come? Even Falstaff, whose transcendent social qualities must receive our admiration, occasions in us no spontaneous affection, no unconscious sympathy. We feel what we feel, and we know why. Our pity is largely interfused with a sense of our own superiority. We are never entirely en rapport with him. He bears the same relation to Uncle Toby as the man at whom you laugh bears to the man with whom you cannot help laughing. In company with Sir John you feel much as Prince Hal and his rollicking companions felt; in

presence of Uncle Toby you yourself become Shandean. Sterne's magic art is superior to that of all his predecessors. He does not excite emotions in us. We suffer them in company with him; we feel merely because he himself feels. Although his literary merits in other directions are great, in this particular excellence he has no equal. He is the greatest and most genuine of our humourists.






E are first introduced to Swift at the famous coffee-house in Covent Garden kept by Button, and frequented by the gentlemen who were termed "the wits." These wits, one of them tells us, had for several successive days observed in the coffee-house a strange clergyman, who seemed utterly unacquainted with any of them, and whose custom it was to lay his hat down on a table, and "walk backward and forward "at a good pace for half an hour, or an hour, without


speaking to any mortal, or seeming in the least to "attend to anything that was going forward there. "He then used to take up his hat, pay his money at "the bar, and walk away without opening his lips." The wits, as may be supposed, were greatly fluttered by the apparition; for, having observed this sin

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